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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

7 Ways to Get Fast AC Repair After a Storm Takes You Down

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Last Updated on September 26, 2015

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Make sure you’ll get fast AC repair after a storm

Have you been through it before? After a major storm blows through and takes out everything in its path, including your air conditioning system, you just want fast AC repair to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

But then you face major delays as you wait for someone to come assess the damage to your system, order the parts and/or equipment needed to get you back up and running, and finally make the repairs. If lots of other homes and businesses have experienced storm damage, you could easily be waiting weeks or even longer to get your cooling system back.

So what can you do to make sure you’ll get fast AC repair the next time around? First, and most importantly, don’t wait for next time to think about it.

Preparing in advance gets you fast AC repair when you need it

If you want fast AC repair when you’re facing an emergency situation, you must take steps in advance to make important preparations, both for your air conditioning system and in your choice of HVAC service providers.

1. Get a preventative maintenance agreement with the right HVAC service provider.

You may be wondering, how does a preventative maintenance agreement get you fast AC repair in an emergency? The answer is simple: most HVAC service providers will provide priority service to their regular maintenance customers. That means, when you establish a relationship with a HVAC company, they will put you at the top of the list ahead of non-contract customers when you need an emergency repair.

That being said, don’t go with just any air conditioning company for your maintenance agreement (read: not necessarily the one that offers the lowest price contract).

Related article:HVAC Service Contract Pricing Guide.

2. Choose a provider that can get to you quickly for fast AC repair.

Distance and response time may not be so important when you’re planning your regular maintenance appointments, but it can matter a great deal in an emergency.

Who are the HVAC service companies that you see around your neighborhood and around the city all the time? If a service provider has many trucks in your area, the chances are excellent that they can respond in a hurry and provide fast AC repair when you need them.

3. Fast access to parts means fast AC repair.

It doesn’t get you fast AC repair if your HVAC service company can promise to get to you within 4 hours, but then it takes a week to order the parts needed to make the repair.

When you’re evaluating service vendors, ask them about the parts they keep in stock. Ideally, you want a company with their own well-stocked warehouse as well as relationships with several parts suppliers in different locations. That way, if there is an emergency and one source of parts is inaccessible, there are alternatives already in place. With fast and reliable access to parts, you can count on fast AC repair.

4. Batten down the hatches.

If you want fast AC repair, it only makes sense to take steps to minimize damage in the first place. If there’s less to fix, you’ll be up and running sooner. One of the easiest ways to do that with your air conditioning system is to properly secure any outdoor equipment. That includes:

  • BOLTS: Make sure the bolts that hold the unit to the base are intact and tight.
  • STRAPS: Get the right hurricane straps for your unit and inspect their condition if you already have them.
  • COVERS: Get covers designed for your unit to keep out leaves, dirt and debris that’s blown around in a storm.

5. Prevent flood damage.

Flooding can cause major damage to your air conditioning system. If your space is flooded, you might not need just fast AC repair, but you may need to replace your air conditioner. Take these steps to protect your equipment:

  • ELEVATE: If possible, install indoor equipment on elevated platforms to reduce the risk of electrical damage from flooding.
  • SUMP PUMPS: Install sump pumps that automatically pump out water to prevent your AC equipment from damage.

Related article: Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Your NYC Business.

6. Shut it down!

When a major storm threatens, it’s a best practice to shut off your air conditioner at the thermostat. And if you have access, shut it off at the circuit breaker. If you can live without air conditioning while the storm blows through, you’ll minimize the risk of electrical damage. With that problem off the table, there is much less that can go wrong from a storm and little chance you’ll need fast AC repair at all.

7. Get your air conditioner inspected before you turn it back on.

After a storm hits, you’ll probably be tempted to get your AC back on right away. IMPORTANT: Don’t turn it back on immediately!

If your system has been exposed to even a small amount of water (which may not be apparent at first glance) you can risk damage by restarting it too soon. Even if the outside looks dry and it seems to come back up with no problem, the unit could fail weeks later from damage caused by the storm.

Get your equipment inspected by an HVAC professional to make sure it’s safe to operate. If you’ve followed the previous steps and have an established relationship with a service company, the chances are good that you’ll get someone there quickly for fast AC repair and inspection.

Are you ready for the next big storm?

If you need more tips to prepare your business for a storm-related emergency, grab a copy of our helpful HVAC Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

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